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The planet Sigma Iotia II's last visit by the Federation was
by the U.S.S. Horizon ... a hundred years before.
Realizing the lapse in monitoring the planet, the Federation
sends the U.S.S. Enterprise to observe the progress of
Beaming down to the planet's surface, Kirk, Spock and McCoy
are surprised to see a much different society — an Earth-like
1920s gangster culture — than was reported by the U.S.S.
Horizon crew. Bodily seized, the landing crew are taken
before one of the major planetary leaders, mobster Bela Oxmyx.
Wishing to unite the population under his rule, Bela offers
Kirk "a piece of the action" in exchange for the
technologically advanced weapons of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Meanwhile, the other lead gangster, Jojo Krako, has his own
idea about being the head mobster and captures the
Enterprise officers. Struggling to gain the upper hand in
this comical power struggle, Kirk creates a diversion ... a
little card game known as fizzbin. Without knowing the nuances
of the culture, Kirk and Spock try to accomplish their mission
when Kirk attempts to drive a car and Spock strives to speak
in gangster slang.
Finally, Bela Oxmyx is given a display of the Federation's
power when he is beamed aboard the Enterprise and held
hostage in the transporter room. Arranging a meeting between
the two antagonists, Kirk is successful in uniting the two
gangs in a loose system of government with the Federation as
Godfather ... for a piece of the action, of course.
Furthermore, upon discovering a book — "Chicago Mobs of the
Twenties" — the U.S.S. Horizon crew left behind 100
years before, Kirk and Spock finally understand how the highly
imitative Iotians reinvented their entire society.
Back aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Kirk notices McCoy
unusually drawn and worried. When questioned, McCoy is forced
to admit that he thinks he left his communicator on Sigma
Iotia II, leaving him to wonder what type of planetary society
the next Federation visit will find .